The 2017 could be viewed as a “make or break” season for the Miami Marlins.
After a 79-82 record and missing out on the playoffs, the National League East tam must avoid long term injuries and find more consistency with the rotation. If Miami is going to make the impact it wants – which means a winning record and a playoff berth, these players will have to bounce back from a disappointing 2016 season
Wei-Yin Chen – Chen was supposed to be the dominant pitcher behind Jose Fernandez the Miami Marlins needed to make the playoffs. Despite being handed the ball on opening day, Chen had a disappointing 2016. A 5-5 record with a 4.96 ERA wasn’t what the Marlins had in mind when they signed the former Baltimore Orioles pitcher to a five-year, $80 million contract. Injuries set him back in the second half of the season.
Chen won’t be the starting day pitcher this season, but he could be a solid middle of the lineup starter. If he can avoid injuries, 12 wins are not out of the question.
Dee Gordon – The Marlins may need a better season out of “Flash” than anyone else on the roster.
What was supposed to be a solid 2016 was halted because he tested positive for PEDs. The batting and the speed on the basepads were severely missed.
When Gordon came back from his 80-game suspension, he did not have the same pop on the bat that allowed him to set the table for Miami. If the Marlins are going to score more runs in 2017, Gordon must get on base more and steal bases. Gordon knows he did not perform up to his own potential in 2016. This could be a comeback season for the second baseman.
AJ Ramos – While Ramos was able to save 40 games in 2016, he still can do better in 2017.
Injuries played a role in his “off” season. Ramos had to share the closer role with Fernando Rodney, who the team traded for before the All-Star game.
Ramos was once again put on notice when the team actively tried to acquire one of the top tier closers in free agency. This could be the reason Ramos becomes one of the top pitchers at his position in 2017. Look for him to save more games and remain injury-free if he is to take his place as one of the most dependable closers in baseball.